18:01 PM

Health & Safety Moment - Winter Driving

winter driving

As winter blankets our surroundings with snow and ice, it's crucial to adapt our driving habits to ensure a safe and secure journey on the roads. Winter driving presents unique challenges, but with the right precautions, we can navigate through the season safely. Let's explore some key winter driving safety tips:

1. Prepare Your Vehicle

Winter Tires: Consider switching to winter tires for better traction on snow and ice.

Fluid Levels: Ensure your vehicle's fluids (antifreeze, oil, windshield washer fluid) are at appropriate levels.

Battery Check: Cold weather can strain your battery, so make sure it's in good condition.


2. Slow Down and Increase Following Distance

Reduced Speeds: Adjust your speed according to road conditions. Slow down in snow, ice, and low visibility.

Increase Following Distance: Leave more space between your vehicle and the one in front to allow for longer stopping distances.

3. Brake Gently and Early

Brake Smoothly: Apply brakes gently to avoid skidding.

Start Slowing Early: Begin slowing down well before a stop to prevent sudden stops on slippery roads.

4. Stay Informed About Road Conditions

Check Weather Reports: Stay updated on weather conditions before starting your journey.

Traffic Updates: Be aware of road closures and traffic updates to plan your route accordingly.

5. Use Caution on Bridges and Overpasses

Icy Conditions: Bridges and overpasses freeze first, so approach them with extra caution.

Reduce Speed: Slow down before reaching these areas to maintain control.

6. Keep Your Lights On

Visibility: Use headlights to increase visibility, especially in snow, sleet, or fog.

Day and Night: Keep headlights on during the day in low-light or overcast conditions.

7. Clear Snow and Ice from Your Vehicle

Windows and Lights: Clear all snow and ice from windows, lights, and mirrors for maximum visibility.

Roof: Remove accumulated snow from the roof to prevent it from sliding onto the windshield while driving.

8. Emergency Kit Preparation

Essentials: Pack an emergency kit with essentials like blankets, non-perishable food, water, and a flashlight.

Communication: Include a charged phone and charger in case of emergencies.

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9. Know How to Recover from Skids

Steer Into the Skid: If your vehicle begins to skid, steer in the direction you want to go.

Avoid Overcorrecting: Overcorrecting can lead to a loss of control. Stay calm and steady.

10. Plan Ahead

Extra Time: Allow extra time for your journey, considering potential delays due to weather.

Inform Others: Share your travel plans with someone and check-in upon arrival.

11. Campus Closures

Mohawk’s SAM (Security Alert Messenger) service: SAM uses text messages, social media, the college website, and email to inform students and employees that the college is closed. SAM is also used for lockdowns and other emergencies that require rapid communication with the college community.

In addition to SAM, closure notices will be posted to the college’s social media channels, MyMohawk, and the college’s website. It is also helpful to stay tuned to local media outlets, as they will also share news of a campus closure.

By following these winter driving safety tips, we can ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience on the roads during the winter months. Remember, it's better to arrive a little later than to risk safety. Stay cautious, stay prepared, and stay safe on the winter roads.